A thriving construction industry is vital to the future of Aberdeen Donside, SNP by-election candidate Mark McDonald has said, after visiting a local construction firm in the heart of the constituency.
Speaking from Anderson Construction in Northfield this afternoon, where he and First Minister Alex Salmond met with Managing Director Kenny Anderson, Mr McDonald criticised the Westminster parties for their continued cuts to Scotland’s Capital budget – and said he was the only candidate willing to fight for additional capital funding for Scotland.
Anderson Construction employs 40 full time staff, and support roughly 40 more sub-contracted staff, working on a variety of projects for the public and private sector. The firm takes on construction apprentices every year, and more than half of its staff are either current or former apprentices.
Commenting, First Minister Alex Salmond said:
“The city of Aberdeen has seen significant capital investment from the SNP. At council level we built the first council houses in Aberdeen in years and ten new schools. We’ve also seen the new Emergency Care Centre, the new Dental School and other excellent health facilities.
“Over the next few years, the SNP will deliver the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route and the Haudagain Roundabout – two massive projects which previous Governments failed to deliver.”
Candidate Mark McDonald added:
“Westminster’s austerity agenda is a matter of grave concern for the whole country, but it’s when you come to firms like Kenny’s that you appreciate the importance of the construction industry to our local economy.
“It’s not just supporting jobs, it’s supporting young people in developing new skills, it’s regenerating the local area and it’s having a huge knock-on benefit to the community.
“As a Councillor and as an MSP, I’ve been proud to help secure new council housing, new schools and new health facilities for the constituency – but there is so much more that we could do were the Capital budget not being slashed by a Westminster Government whose economic policies have been totally discredited.
“Labour, the Tories and the LibDems all have a legacy of cutting capital spending – I am the only candidate who does not believe that Scotland’s Capital budget should be getting cut by Westminster.”
Kenny Anderson, Managing Director of Anderson House, echoed Mr McDonald’s remarks:
“There is no doubt that the industry has been hard-hit by the recession, but Capital spending plays a key role in supporting us during these difficult economic times.
“The benefits of Capital investment are clear – every single pound spent in the construction industry is estimated to generate £2.84 in economic activity. It is a hugely labour-intensive industry, and one which we work hard to promote opportunities for young people.”